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California police investigating fatal Tesla crash

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(Reuters) – The California Highway Patrol is investigating why a Tesla vehicle crashed into an overturned truck on a highway near Fontana, California, killing the Tesla’s driver and injuring the truck driver and a motorist who had stopped to help him, the agency said on Wednesday.

The highway patrol report did not say whether the Tesla was operating on Autopilot, its semi-autonomous driving system, when the crash occurred at about 2:40 a.m. Wednesday. The Mack truck had crashed and overturned five minutes earlier, blocking two lanes of the highway, the report said.

The 50-year-old truck driver and the 30-year-old motorist who stopped to help him both sustained major injuries, the police report said. The 35-year-old man driving the Tesla was not identified in the report.

Federal highway safety regulators are investigating 24 accidents involving Tesla vehicles operating on Autopilot.

Officials of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not have an immediate comment.

Tesla could not be reached immediately for comment.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has said that a Tesla operating on Autopilot, which partially automates steering, braking and speed control, is safer than a car operated solely by a human driver.

(Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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